UAV Navigation’s GNSS-denied navigation capability ensures optimum performance for Alpha’s helicopter UAVs

UAV Navigation’s GNSS-denied navigation capability ensures optimum performance for Alpha’s helicopter UAVs

UAV Navigation ensures that Alpha platforms A-900 & A-800 can carry out missions even with GNSS signal denies or under jamming attack.

The majority of Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS) rely on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) to maintain a stable position and/or to navigate between waypoints. Added to this weakness, any small drone system that relies exclusively on Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS) sensors to estimate aircraft attitude and which does not fuse data from other types of sensor may be vulnerable to GNSS jamming attacks. UAV Navigation’s design philosophy is that the UAV cannot depend upon the availability of a GNSS signal; the system must be able to continue the mission even in a GNSS-denied environment.

When a flight control system is jammed, or operates in a GNSS-denied area, the UAS no longer has access to positional information. With inferior systems, the only alternative is for the remote pilot to take manual control, making it likely that the mission will fail and depending on the distance between the Ground Control Station (GCS), the UAV may be lost. As mentioned above, some systems may not even be able to maintain UAV stability and the aircraft will fall out of the sky.

This is a major weakness of many commercially available drone systems, and it is what has made jammers and other counter-UAV measures so popular in the industry.

Alpha Unmanned Systems selected UAV Navigation as its flight control system provider due to their requirement to include a robust GNSS-denied capability in their UAV helicopters Alpha-800 and Alpha-900 systems.

Thanks to UAV Navigation’s VECTOR-600 autopilot, Alpha’s platforms are able to continue a mission if the GNSS signal becomes unavailable or is jammed; the autopilot is able to estimate the UAV’s position and follow a flight plan, or alternatively receive a command to fly to a designated area – including the landing site, even if the UAV is Beyond Line Of Sight (BLOS). Of course the autopilot’s sensor suite uses MEMS
technology, so the system will accumulate navigation errors of up to 30 meters per minute; wind conditions may alter this figure, but the key point is that platform stability and control is maintained and the aircraft can be recovered.

Alvaro Escarpenter, COO at Alpha Unmanned Systems, states that: “Thanks to UAV Navigation’s advanced dead-reckoning capability we can disable GNSS for a limited amount of time, or we can escape out of a jammed area, in order to correct our position and attempt to recover the GNSS signal; if the worst comes to the worst, then we know we will be able to save the UAV. This is an advanced feature only available to
professional or military grade UAVs. If they lose the GNSS signal or it is jammed, commercial drone systems will start a controlled descent to the ground resulting in a failed mission and the potential loss of the aircraft.”

UAV Navigation military-grade autopilot can continue the mission even if subjected to Meaconing, Intrusion, Jamming and Interference (MIJI) attacks. The use of advanced algorithms to manage data from multiple sensors enables uncrewed aircraft to fly dead-reckoning operations.

UAV Navigation – Grupo Oesía

UAV Navigation is a 100% Spanish capital, private and independent specialized in the design of guidance, navigation and control solutions (GNC) for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) since 2004.

The flight control solutions are characterized by their reliability and robustness, being used on all kinds of
platforms and weather conditions. These include high-performance tactical unmanned planes, VTOL fixed
wings, aerial targets, mini-UAVs and helicopters.

UAV Navigation is part of Oesia Group, a Spanish group of multinational companies with more than 45
years of experience designing, developing and maintaining cutting-edge technology for the Security,
Defense and Aerospace sectors with a long history of work in avionics for important projects. The Oesia
Group has been involved during the whole life cycle (design, development, qualification and maintenance) of critical and no-critical flight systems for Eurofighter EF-2000, A-400M, F-18, C-295, P3-B Orión or MH-60R. The group is now involved in the largest UAV projects such as the FCAS/NGWS, Eurodrone or SIRTAP.

Oesia Group relies on more than 3,500 employees and more than 15 headquarters in Spain and America
and working on projects in 23 different countries with the main purpose of creating a better world, more
efficient, safe and sustainable. The company also counts on a worldwide network of distributors to spread
these cutting-edge capabilities around the world.

Alpha Unmanned Systems

Alpha Unmanned Systems  is a premier engineering UAV Systems manufacturer focused on providing
customers with reliable and versatile tactical solutions that include UAV helicopters and complementary
UAV systems and services.

Our systems are built to order and are distributed to firms and public agencies in more than 8 countries.
They perform a range of tasks, from Surveillance, Border Control, Maritime Security, Search and Rescue,
Educational Purposes, to delivery of urgently needed medical supplies, among many others.

The Alpha team includes aeronautical engineers, electronic engineers, mechanical engineers, UAV pilots,
and business professionals with only one goal: to make your mission possible.

ALPHA is primarily an aeronautical engineering company. Our team works every day not only designing
and building first-class UAV Helicopters and systems but also investigating and developing new ways to
make them better, more useful, more reliable, and easier to use. Learn the latest about our research,
testing, and validation methods and results at